It has been called the “Digital Decade”-2000-2009-beginning with the unrealized fears about Y2K and ending with “unfriend” being selected as the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year, giving validation to the rapid adoption of broadband technology and meteoric rise of social networking. During the last decade, the desire to be connected is evidenced in the increasing prevalence of personal digital assistants (PDAs) and smart phones everywhere, making the pace of adoption of broadband via mobile devices a technology phenomenon. In addition to the pervasive texting and tweeting, there is an increasing convergence of functions into hand-held digital devices that interface with the Internet and have the ability to remotely monitor and control other electronic equipment. This rapidly evolving digital communications revolution is simply dazzling.

Our ability to connect through high-speed Internet access-referred to generically as “broadband”-is improving our lives in many ways-helping us share information and images, research and apply for jobs, stay in touch with loved ones, and access entertainment and news. Broadband saves consumers time and money, increases productivity in the economy, and reduces impacts on the environment. Broadband is essential 21st Century infrastructure in a digital world and global economy. It is vital to the economic prosperity of every community and the quality of life for all residents. And, it is a “green” strategy to shrink our carbon footprint.